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Key Capitol Hill Hearings

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Bosnia 25, Nato 8, U.s. 8, Un 7, Pentagon 6, Sandy 6, Serbia 5, Boris Yeltsin 5, Russia 4, Clinton 4, Europe 4, Slobodan Milosevic 3, Haiti 3, U.n. 3, Kosovo 3, Yugoslavia 3, Vietnam 3, Warren Christopher 2, Leon 2, Richard Holbrooke 2,
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  CSPAN    Key Capitol Hill Hearings    Series/Special. Speeches from policy makers  
   and coverage from around the country. (Stereo)  

    December 3, 2013
    6:00 - 8:01am EST  

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analysts meetings on everything from arms control, he was acutely sensitive to trying to understand the nuances of the issues and make things work and
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nowhere was that more clear than in bosnia. it was a tough lift because we came out of vietnam and we don't like wars and united states cardenas-we. then we went to the gulf war and had to force norman schwarzkopf to take seventh corps so we end up with 500,000 troops there. the epitome of what colin powell called the decisive force and then we come to bosnia and that looks like vietnam. there are people fighting, good guys and bad guys and you can't spell for names, they don't have any vowels and you don't know how to pronounce them, it is in a place not in those. as my predecessor testified, 400,000 troops to deal with this problem and that wasn't helpful and it was one of the issues we had to deal with when he put the number out on the table so i got
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there in the spring of 1994 and i had a lot of things on my plate and i noticed i had to submit the speaker to go into the interagency working group that would make its way to the deputies committee and some issues would be extracted and nobody on my staff had ever been to bosnia. they didn't know what they were talking about. they were reading good intelligence, don't get me wrong and i got a lot of interpretation from it but nobody could tell me what the military division was. so i talked to my buddy, jack sheehan because he was doing most of the bosnia stop and i said i would like to learn this and he says go-ahead but you cannot understand it. anyone who gets involved in bosnia, it will ruin your career and you will probably get fired. not only did you have the problem in the pentagon of wanting to use force but you had people jumping back from the
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problem. so this did make it difficult but we did get the options done and i did get over there and almost did ruin my career, i had senator dole told a president of the should be fired. sandy may have helped me keep my position. it was a rocky road. i will say that. a month before i left, any time you want to do anything in this town you have to be prepared to take the heat for it. he had been criticized in congress. i came back, forget congress, it was all over the washington post i disobeyed ambassadors judgment and i had never been told -- i never disobeyed everybody's direction like that. and as we moved through this process it came to the summer of 1995 and they asked me for some
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input. you never hear about what is happening. you get a little snatch of it. tony is going to do something, what do you think about such and such? i went on the trip because at the pentagon we had heard richard holbrooke might be taking over this delegation and richard holbrooke cast a tall, long, dark shadow on the pentagon. he was known as the kind of diplomat who loved to abuse the military. in the pentagon, you got to stop holbrook from calming, you wants to bomb things so i volunteered to be the holbrooke stopper on the delegation and it wasn't long before realized what an incredible kenyas he was and how good he was and sensitive he was an smart he was at using this so we went through these negotiations to get there.
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hy was his right hand guy. i was the puppets, i was on a pop master's need. he would tell me what to say in negotiation and he would say be careful, slobodan milosevic is trying to use you, he was a very clever guy. i was in uniform and slobodan milosevic would look at holbrook and didn't like him or trust him, he was a tricky guy. i was military. military is like dogs, they are smart, not so smart, but loyal. he would manipulate me, look at me and talk and smile at me and blow smoke can look daggers at him and you could see him working the delegation so we worked this through and had some interesting times. dick was very good at using the intelligence. he got intelligence you gave him personally. i am not sure i got that
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intelligence because when you're dealing with intelligence you never know what you don't know. someone always has something else, how does he know that? because he got limited distribution intelligence said it was very good. a couple incidents illustrate this. when the bombing was occurring sedan milosevic, he took us to a hunting lodge and said let's take a walk around the lake so we took a walk around the lake with leva on milosevic and he said this bombing must stop, it is very bad for peace. that led to the letter because it was obvious we had him right where we wanted him. when you had your adversary claiming you got to stop the bombing so he can negotiate, we got to go back and next time and he says a special surprise for you. may be a cake or something?
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he produced the two indicted recently indicted war criminals so we go into this lodge and this is the time the bombing is still going on and this is the time to make peace. lebanon milosevic says please, discussed among yourselves how to make this bombing stopped and so they are sitting around this room in the hunting lodge and lebanon milosevic before anything is said and dick said something and before i know it i am left with these two and i'm not a trained lawyer and they never taught me at west point how to write a cease-fire agreement. i knew how to do and of planned the didn't know how to do cease-fire agreement. the second night without sleep, one night across the atlantic,
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one night -- an all-night flight and this is the third night without sleep and we rode the cease-fire agreement and so it was what dick wanted and he used it and he was very effective because he let me take the heat for the cease-fire agreement and he could backstop me on it because if he had done it himself it would have put the delegation in jeopardy. he was very smart about how he deployed assets and it did stop the fighting, stopped the bombing and opened the door for the peace agreements. we couldn't have done any of that without a great intelligence. i also want to say -- reinforce what he said about the difficulty of this because you have got to get the military organization on the ground correct. we had no military on the ground. what company, what battalion is that? we have u.n. units from
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different countries, serbs, muslims, they are all jabbering and we are monitoring some of it and we are hearing it from other people and that had to be kept straight and you had to know the commanders and the political level and the other nation's level so it was a huge intelligence load on them. the only suggestion i have after all that, i don't know if we are doing this any better, we are not very disciplined in the pentagon about collecting information from people who have gone out and we should be more disciplined. somebody should have chained me to the desk and said write down the name of everybody talked to, every personality, tell me the five most important things and give me strength and weaknesses. i do believe the chinese do this, the soviets did this, the israelis do this and for some
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reason, the state department does it but for some reason in the military we don't. we just want to know about weapons. >> we will take you on that. >> we just want to know about weapons so we don't get into the personalities and details. that is the only suggestion as i think back on this episode. if we could have done that with everybody who ever met these guys we would have had a library on the mend it would have really supplemented the current take on the intelligence. >> thank you very much. now to madeleine albright who was a u.s. ambassador in the first carry and secretary of state in the second term so very aware of how important intelligence is and how important u.s. leadership is and she was one of the earliest advocates for stronger u.s. leadership in the balkans and
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history has proven quite clearly she was on the right side of history before many wear and the documents that have been released today document how she was pushing and pushing and pushing and there is one that was in february of 1993, maybe a month, in the principles committee meeting which is cabinet level interagency meeting saying the policy was legitimizing ethnic cleansing. this is a woman who does not mince words and calling our policy pallid. there are some wonderful quotes in these documents, throughout the early days of this policy being developed, she was trying to keep the pressure on the need to recognize ethnic cleansing. we had to keep the process of justice and end the genocide at the forefront and she was not afraid to put the use of force on the table and did so early on
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and repeatedly to some fireworks in the situation room. i wanted to start with your role in the shrub and meet the crisis of little later and your role at the un and how important role of intelligence was in the adlai stevenson moment. >> it is wonderful to be back together with this whole team. we really weren't team and it is great to see so many people and groups. people ask me what i miss most. is not the airplane. is the intelligence because i really do think that having the opportunity every day to have the kind of intelligence that the intelligence community can put together is totally amazing. when i first began i didn't understand why my briefer would sit there and watch me read? was she seeing a time of my lips
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when i read? mostly was in order to be able to get the questions that begin to move the process forward. before i get to that, it is interesting and listening to my colleagues, i do think it makes a difference what your background is, what your history is, everyone has told a little bit of this. 9 is complete the difference. i was born in czechoslovakia and by accident my father was the ambassadors to yugoslavia. therefore i understood said, croatian, and knew what the area was about and i understood the ethnic bling. a pure accident of history that that happened, that would have been a major issue out there, that in fact we had to deal with along with iraq sanctions, we had to deal with and i came, most of my colleagues are younger than i am and they are very much a part of the vietnam
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generation. when neville chamberlain said why should we care about people in faraway places with unpronounceable names? will come with our own background and i'd think it is important as one studies history and decisionmaking, what is it that you bring as an individual, the role of the individual is different and it matters. the other part that i think matters in decisionmaking and these documents really show it, we all argued and that is what it is supposed to be about. principles committees, shouldn't have everybody saying yes, sir, yes, sir. a really good national security adviser, nancy has been through all of it. sandy was a brilliant national security adviser. jimenez break the eggs in order to understand what was going on and it was okay to disagree. that was the point. if you look at these particular
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documents you can see us disagree. i came at it from a different aspect, not only my background but being at the un where i saw more different diplomats than any other american diplomat. i saw more different diplomats and every single day, people would come up to me and say your president who said we are supposed to do something, why aren't you doing something? what is it? you talk about safe areas and who was doing what? that was going on on one level and on another level europeans were completely obnoxious because it was in europe. at the same time citrus saying why don't you let us do it and they didn't do it. it was a difficult and complicated action. what did happen which is very
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important, it was the marriage of policy and image and you talked about the images, and we went through endless debates about safe areas which were never really save and partially how they were to be protected and all of a sudden this eighth area was overrun and it was hard to persuade people what had really happened. having gotten the intelligence in a variety of ways in different places there were two streams that came together, one was it was possible to interview somebody that had in fact been a muslim bosnian who had survived, a young man hidden under somebody, was able to come out and tell the story of what he had seen happening, and then we were able -- there were
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photographs, images that showed what happened. than there had been an empty area, then there had been an area where all of us sudden you could see people all over the place and cracks taking people out of it so i managed through all my friends here to get these images declassified and i took them to the security council and have been all these discussions of that happened or not happened or what had the dutch been doing and hast pictures around the security council land it was silent as people look at these pictures which told the story and matched the story of the interviews the and man had given. and it was chilling to everybody. an amazing example how you can use intelligence to push something forward. it was my advice stevenson moment. it was a perfect example of how all these two things, policy and
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intelligence came together and it has to be visible in a particular way. very important, i was proud of many things i did at the un, one was one of my earlier votes, david shepherd worked with me, and i have to tell you i am known as multilateral madeleine but multilateral is very hard. is also americans don't like the word. has too many syllables, but mostly it is partnership and trying to get others to go along but the un is difficult, no question about it. trying to get the countries to agree, the russians are not usually helpful, and protecting the serbs in the number of ways, we saw that in kosovo. basically the question is how you get them mobilized.
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the war crimes tribunal was a very important part of a really new step in terms of getting those who were perpetrating a crime, very different from nuremberg where it had already been a surrendered power. people talk about that as a model. the war crimes tribunal was something totally different. of very early vote that we took. then the question was how could we prove what was going on. by supplying intelligence information in order to get indictments. not all of the un system trust obama like our intelligence but they were not sure they wanted to use our intelligence. that became an important issue, ultimately the combination of sanctions and i have to say, you
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look for allies in the principles committee and we were very well allied on this, very important but the indictments were also from the work crimes tribunal and that combination of aspects and the bombing, it is interesting, i admired general powell incredibly, arguing with him as difficult as a mere mortal female civilian. have to explain patiently to ambassador albright that our soldiers were not ploy soldiers and i called him after the book came out and you have to understand something. he send me his book and signed it with love, admiration, i wrote back a note and the love,
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admiration, forcefully, madeleine. charlie really had a different approach and as you said some of it was his background. he came from a different -- there was the time we were standing in front of the situation room, he in his uniform and me with my pen and bob rubin said force and diplomacy and charlie said which is which? we were very good partners in this and as sandy said force and diplomacy go together and those are the lessons with the addition you cannot do without the intelligence and the task force has been an amazing model, somebody was able to use it in a way that could in turn pictures. >> one of my favorite moments of
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the situation, have a million troops to go into bosnia, and madeline said why do we have this glorious army if we can't use it? in this book, almost had an embolism. >> patiently. let me open it up. a couple minutes for discussion and a few minutes at the end for some questions. >> just to say how dynamic this will impose the committee. this was a sunday morning we went into -- the fighting had gone, the croatian president, the fighting raged across the area, there were refugees out
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there, and dick communicated to sandy that it was time to stop the fighting, it was too dangerous because of the threat of serb intervention so i was sent in to see the defense minister, the pizza man. he had become wealthy on pizza restaurants. we walked in, we were told from the previous day, the instructions are you must stop those forces right now. we said ambassador holbrooke is giving this right now. stop, stop, we are on the west hills, the serbs are going
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crazy, they are shooting their own soldiers who are running from us. you want us to stop right now? stop right now so we get back in the plane, so dick has said stop, and we say look, did we know it was this bad? we are scrambling to get intelligence information to put it together. dick finally got the word that it was bad. we should go to slow but on milosevic right now and tell him to surrender right now. we can save his units. this is the moment. we need to go to italy, we detoured back and got into belgrade at 2:00 at night and already had dinner. we are in the sedan with the u.s. ambassador and we say to
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the u.s. ambassador, i can't believe we will see him this late at night, heavy dinners with all these meets and everything, making you drink wine and served three kinds of meat and keep you up all night. can we tell him we don't want to eat? we know not to talk about anything in the sedan because we assumed it is bad. he greets us at the front door of the presidential mansion and says please come in, it is weight. i am sure you don't want to eat this late. and then he says we are not prepared to surrender. we have put general -- and he named some serb general -- in charge. he is good man. he will fix this problem. just like that. so you wonder, the intelligence
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is competitive business. we had intelligence, he had intelligence. i don't know where he got intelligence but it was pretty spooky that night. >> let me ask one question before we open it up. we will end promptly at 3:00 so get your questions ready. what comes to listening to you, your leadership, the president's leadership, great intelligence in the sense of the c i a pulling together this task force. it is very people driven and in addition to the bosnian task force which is the bureaucratic thing, institutional mechanisms that you would recommend to your successors to maybe not have to reinvent the wheel the next time we have a similar crisis? nobody has invade rwanda or invade bosnia kosovo campaign
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off the shelves. you have to invent it on the fly. the pentagon doesn't say if this crisis happens here is our plan, the intelligence does that right. it always is on the fly. there are a institutional spots for those who comi after us to think about. >> the issue here, the hard part i think is how to involve as many layers of the system as possible without slowing everything down. that is the problem because i think there is a tendency to get so many layers because you don't know where you are getting the information and the decisionmaking gets slow. one of the things as i go through these documents is -- you said it -- the pressure came
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from the top. that has to happen. the president has to say i want the decision on this. you can write as many memos as you want until you are blue in the face but that would be my sense about this. as this change, because president clinton decided that he was going to do something about it and he got the system moving. >> let me pick up on that. we are here in this clinton library and i want to bring this back to president clinton. there are more than 40 patients between the situation room and the oval office. rarely do national security advisers get fired when things go wrong but the president could get thrown out of office and i can assure you, the appetite for american boots on the ground in 1995 than there is in 2013.
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we have gone through somalia, black hawk down, we didn't have a great experience in haiti, no appetite for putting 25,000 troops into bosnia and even in the context of peace agreements most people couldn't tell you where bosnia was on the map. inevitably the peace agreement would be shaky and it was an extraordinarily courageous decision i think. we would not have had peace. that was the centerpiece of the end game because once we said we will be there to enforce the peace, that was the key decision. then there was confidence that a peace agreement actually could last. it does ultimately come down to presidential leadership and a
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decision the president made that was purely his judgment about what was in the best interest of the united states, of europe, the best thing to do in terms of our security and our values. that is the fundamental lesson that i take away from this. >> let me open it up for questions. go ahead. use the mic. >> real quick. collectively very kind, talking about what i was able to do. just remember, i was there on the vice president's dime and as a senator, two years before he had any inclination or ideas that he would wind up as vice president of the united states
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you will find a speech he delivered on the floor followed shortly by senator lowell and those with the two first senatorial comments saying what was going on in the former yugoslavia was not acceptable to the united states and why. i still hope we will one day get back to that level of clarity and collaboration across the aisle because that too is essential for success. >> i would say we will take two questions at a time so we have a chance to get a couple in and there is a woman in blonde in the black with the glasses. >> a personal memory we enjoy in our family that connects to this is our daughter was the rookie reporter for abc in greenewood, mississippi and was home for
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thanksgiving and asked president clinton if she could interview him in 1995 just after thanksgiving. and he agreed and he announced in typical fashion to help her little career all along and to get her on to peter jennings's nightly news as the lead story that the u.s. would be sending troops to bosnia and i remember the personal sweetness of that but also the gravitas of it because there had been such resistance to u.s. troop involvement in bosnia. i didn't realize until i read the booklet that was handed us they were sent to help enforce the peace. can you comment room on the dynamic of that decision was?
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>> one more right there in the front, the man with the glasses and a beard. >> thank you, my name is sean. i am a student of public service. in mcmafia, distinctions were a big mistake because by putting the arms embargo and sanctions against serbia it forced every government in the region to get all paramilitary supplies and economic activity had to go through criminal channels and he argues it gave rise to modern transnational post-soviet organized crime like prohibition did in the u.s. and i was wondering, did the intelligence community see that coming? 1991-1995. given what we know now do you think that the trade off was
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worth it? >> two questions. do you want to take the last one, leon? >> first of all, we are running this on the basis of a set of declassified documents and i can go only so far as the light shed by those documents permits me to go. so that that question is another time may be for another set but i do want to say one of the consequences of sanctions is a disruption among society including disruption among the innocent. when you cause massive inflation through sanctions it is the middle class that bears the brunt, or the very poor that bear the brunt in any given country. we had to deal with such issues
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as the availability of heating oil for sanitariums in serbia and elsewhere in the winter months so there were always consequences that were not desired that had to be dealt with on the fly by decisionmaking process. if you think the choices of effectively operating the sanctions, doing nothing, switching immediately to the use of force, i would say that one uses the sanctions, fully aware of side effects of strong medicine. >> on the sanctions, i teach at georgetown and made up of course, foreign policy getting the country to do what you want so what are the tools? they are not a lot of tools and the national security toolbox. there is diplomacy on one end
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and use of force on another and various gradations. sanctions are an important economic tool and a 90s were very much known as the sanctions decade. it was very interesting because one of the other things i did at the u.n. was to make sure sanctions stay is on iraq, the cease-fire had been translated into a series of sanctions and those were very kind of ham handed sanctions, the tougher sanctions on any country at all and what we were looking at was trying to get more surgical with the sanctions on the former yugoslavia. one problem that was there because you put two things together was there was an arms embargo that was put on that and only hurt the country's that seceded from the serbs, the serbs continued, they had a a
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really huge standing military and the reason that we wanted to lift the embargo on arms was the others weren't getting any. there were two different aspects on that but sanctions are a pool and they do hurt and the question is how you turn to what are known as smart sanctions to comprehensive ones. on the other question, you probably -- these documents -- >> when you are designing a strategy like this you start with a question of whether you are prepared to use force and work backwards. make the threat and then decide whether you are prepared to use
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force. when the president decided to deploy ended the circumstances we backed up and decided we could use that as leverage to convince the party that if they could reach an agreement there would be it chance the agreement would be moved and to go to the -- 25 or 20 was part of a 60,000 person nato force deployed in bosnia. that became a confidence to the parties that if they agreed to an agreement -- >> on the sanctions peace, analyzing utility, sanctions as a tool, you may give some incentive to these networks to form and learn how to smuggle. i do lot of work in eastern europe, a lot of declassified
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documents by going through the kgb files, a book on romania was very instructive. it was just finished this fall, going through this entire analysis. these countries are right with intelligence services. in eastern europe, one out of every three people speaks for some other nation's interest. those intelligence network that an end of the cold war dissolve, become something else, business that works, networks influenced by russia today and so forth. you can't blame the emergence of those networks on sanctions. sanctions had this much impact on something that was going to be there in any case and is there in full force today. one thing sanctions did do is forced newly democratic governments to lead and take a stand that was not easy. it paid off later on.
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in the case of bulgaria and romania in the kosovo campaign in 1999 we required kosovo and bulgaria not only to keep sanctions on at that point but they were besieged with requests from serbia to let war material goes through and they didn't and had the means to stop the war material, they cut off any hope of russian war material reaching serbia during that campaign and they did it because they wanted to the nato members later but also did it because they had practiced it with sanctions earlier so sanctions cut both ways but they do strengthen governments. >> i apologize, we have to break because the president will be here shortly and i want to thank the c i a for putting this on for the clinton library. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> thank you very much, thank you. i was upstairs watching the panel. i had it piped in and i was thinking it is no wonder we got a few things right. i had so many smart people working for the administration. so i would like to begin by thanking stephanie street in the presidential center and thank you, kerri garner and joe lambert for your opening remarks and all the work you did to make this day happen. i also want to thank john gannon from the cia, madeleine, sandy,
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leon and nancy, i loved the panel. i was upstairs hanging on every word. [applause] >> i presume all of you got one of these books and if you did i urge you to read it. if you read this you don't have to pay attention to what i am about to say. you will know what this day is about. i want to thank some people who aren't here. i want to thank all late secretary of state warren christopher for though work he did at dayton. i am very grateful to dick holbrooke. he was a massive force. on my birthday in 1995 i walked off of the golf course in wyoming to learn that bob
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frazier and belgian crew had lost their lives in the search for peace in bosnia. i think sandy for being here today.ank sandy for being here today. they were on the dangerous road because live with the milosevic would not guarantee them safe air traffic into belgrade and so they had to take that road. wesley clark and i have been friends for 45 years. we met at georgetown in 1967. i have stopped through arkansas on his way to some new duty post and i watched him rise. i was terrified that my election as president would mess up his
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army career because people would think i had something to do with some advance, i never had anything to do with anything he got. he got it all on his own merits. in spite of the fact the we were friends. he has done a lot of things for our country but nothing touched me more than when he reached down the side of that mountain trying to save his colleagues in a burning car. i woke up in the middle of the night last night and i couldn't go back to bed. i relived bosnia from start to finish. ron brown and all the people in the commerce department and business leaders who died on a mountainside in croatia in up plane crash on of mission trying to rebuild bosnia economically. i often wondered if they had
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lived, weather there would have been enough economic progress to melt some of the stubbornness that persisted it the end of the war. i want to thank al gore for giving me the list of sanctions and giving them to the country and being really tough. wesley clark's pay, who i am grateful for and is no longer with us was absolutely true but he will also tell you not all the military field the way they did. and after we got the peace agreement and had to send a peacekeeping force in, it was al gore that got everybody in the room and reminded them we were all on the same team and we better begin to act accordingly.
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that is one of vice president is for, to be the bad cop. he was great at it. i want to thank a lot of other people along the way who were no longer here. i would like to make one mineral point. one of the things i tried to emphasize when i wrote the memoirs, everything happens at once. we finished bosnian peace accord in november of 1995 in the middle of the two government shutdowns, after one, quite appropriate for today, don't you think? 1995 was a big year.
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we restored president aristide, democratically elected leader of haiti, the cease-fire in northern ireland which led to the good friday accord which still is held today through good times and bad, got the bosnia peace agreement. we had the largest handover of land from the israelis to the palestinians in the west bank, and it cost the prime minister's life three weeks later. ron brown's plane crash in 1995, oklahoma city occurred in 1995 raising all kinds of other questions about intelligence and the relationship of those who collected intelligence abroad and those who collected it at home, how it should be shared and what should be done.
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meanwhile boris yeltsin was trying to preserve his position as a true democrat in russia against opponents who wanted a more authoritarian future either going back to communism or forward with a kind of ultranationalists and that would recreate in their own minds the 20th and twenty-first century version of a russian empire. meanwhile, we were also seeing the emergence of terrorism justified by islamic politics and certain interpretation of religion. we had the first world trade center bombing in 93 remember, and the people getting pummeled in bosnia where muslims.
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it was a source of concern to people all across the world. i received calls from both the polk ape and the king of saudi arabia asking me to intervene, the first time they were ever on the same issue. dick holbrooke said it was a problem from hell. and when we read discussing how everything happens at once, the aftermath with somalia, haiti, bosnia, tony lake cracked one of the best lines of all time he worked in the white house. sometimes i really miss the cold war. bosnia in some ways became a metaphor for the struggles of the 21st century.
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the first conflict which reminded us the end of the cold war basically took the veil off this image we were privileged to have even when it didn't comport with reality that there was a bipolar world and as dangerous as it was with nuclear weapons hanging around at least it was organized. even our spies helped each other, i used to say. if the russians were better off with spies in the cold war, for america, were really good. that way we knew their intentions, they didn't mean to launch a nuclear weapon at us and we were better off that the russian spies were really good because they knew we didn't intend to blow them off of the face of the earth. hard to convince anybody who's life is on the line working for the cia or the kgb that it was a good thing if the other side was good at what they did.
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we had the illusion that power could be organized, constructed, controlled and directed. for good and bad ends. bosnia was the beginning of showing us how incredibly dispersed power was going to get in the 21st century. weapons everywhere. sort of the global version of the extreme interpretation of the second amendment. they are everywhere. and wide dispersal of information and the ability to use it in a thousand different ways thanks to social media, cellphones. you can send money and information everywhere in an instant. so now everywhere you see these
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conflicts between the forces of integration trying to hold things together and the forces of disintegration. the world is interdependent for good and ill. the distinguished author moses' 9 has written a book called the end of power which i recommend to you which doesn't say there is a end of power, just that there's a end of power in terms of being able to get it, use it and keep it. without other people who seem to be powerless messing with you. sometimes we shear that, sometimes we grieve over it. i thought my job when i got elected as embodied by the commitment i had to stop the ethnic cleansing and slaughter in bosnia was to try to create a
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world in which people who were trying to put together things had a better chance than those who were trying to tear them apart. we would create a new world of freedom and prosperity and cooperation that we would share. in a world where everything is happening at once, intelligence is really important because it is impossible for any one person no matter how many newspapers and magazine articles or how many people you talked to on the telephone to have real time knowledge in areas where you have to make decisions. as a general proposition before we get to what happened in bosnia which was very special from an intelligence point of
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view. it is important, it really matters. look out the year started in 1993 when we started working on this. first thing i had to worry about was boris yeltsin was under siege. he risked his life i standing up on a tank in moscow to tell the russian army you take us back to the battle days that you will have to kill me to do it. the son of a russian immigrant happened to be seated by me at dinner this summer when hillary and i went to dinner with the bunch of our friends and he looked at me and said the you like boris yeltsin? yes, i did. he got a big smile, good. he said my country in its entire history has only produced two true democrats, alexander karen ski and boris yeltsin and listen got yeltsin to stay.
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too bad we lost it again but maybe we can get it back. an incredible conversation. russia was going broke. the first thing i did was go to vancouver and meet with boris yeltsin and put together a package to bring soldiers home from other countries. talking about this before the american people were 74% against the package, what is bill clinton going to do to meet with the russian leader? we got economic problems at home. i also knew i needed his cooperation to keep from gumming up the works in bosnia because of the historic ties of the russians to the serbs.
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so we did that. you heard all this before, but america was basically supposed to stop this awful violence in bosnia. miraculously acting on its own in a place where europe was heavily involved only european soldiers were on the ground, there were no american soldiers on the ground. we were supposed to somehow go in and fix it and do it without losing a single american life, without telling a single innocent bystander and if possible without telling anybody on the other side. in an environment where our european friends were pushing a peace plan that all of us thought had no chance in the world to succeed, but made us feel like they didn't want to do. we had a policy, we wanted to lift the arms embargo on the bosnians because the bosnian
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muslims could not get arms and the serbs have all the arms they needed courtesy of slobodan milosevic in serbia and we wanted the authority to use air strikes in early 1993 and warren christopher went to europe and the europeans told him to go home. they had no intention of doing this. so we went home and went back to work. you remember later, they talked about this in the panel, we finally got slowly, slowly, slowly more involved with more permission from our allies to do what i wanted us to do together. we got permission to do humanitarian air drops. that made a difference and leon went to work on sanctions that
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the un supported. than we had a safe area declared which worked until it didn't and 7,000 people were killed but they would not agree to raise the arms embargo because they said their soldiers would be in danger and hours wouldn't and i was reluctant to go along with senator bill who was a real champ on this issue as has already been said. you wanted to lift the arms embargo unilaterally but at the time, there were arms embargos on libya and iraq and if the arms embargo in those places were lifted it would have just the research -- rivers impact of lifting it in bosnia where it would even up the score for the people who were trying to keep from getting slaughtered. 6 -- of wood with strengthen the people who were doing the killing. it was the terrible dilemma.
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we hata team that kept on plugging at it and kept on working at it we got you and approval for nato to conduct air strikes but under a system euphemistically called -- the nato countries had to agree to do it and so did the u.n. secretary general. that was a real problem since russia was on the un security council and we were afraid we had a power that didn't exist. in february we finally got to use it because there was a no-fly zone and when nato pilots
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shot serbian planes down, it was the first time in the history of nato that nato can denver--ever conducted a military operation and it was out of the territorial boundaries of nato members and. then in march we got a big break, the bosnians and croatians had been fighting each other over territory, resolved their differences, began to fight against the serbs and that began ever so slowly to turn the war around. what had already been done by, this was the authority for the no-fly zone, to break for 130,000 in 1992 to 3,000 in 1994, but the political problems
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and underlying military capacity to kill people had not been resolved. so we kept working through 1995. so the bosnians and croats when they started fighting after the peace agreement only controlled 30% of the land of bosnia even though together, they were 50% of the population. by the time we started peace talks they had gone from 30% to 50%. so we got a big break on the ground so by the time our parties met in day in and the principles of peace had been agreed to the bosnians and croats had what they would have to have